Complaining Makes Us All Look Bad

Complaining Makes Us All Look Bad
hadleyj09 Jul 28, 2014 06:25

Throughout my time here in China, I have always wondered why so many people who come to teach in China tend to not like it. I hear so many people who comment on my posts about how there are so many bad things going on in China, and how China should become a better country. Well, here’s the thing. You’re here for a reason and the fact that you are still complaining after being here for such a long period of time and not going home yet is actually quite annoying. 


I don’t really see the Chinese coming into places like America and telling us that kids need to stop shooting up schools left and right, or that we need to take the right to have guns out of our constitution. The point is that every country has good and not so good parts to it. When people talk about why China is so bad, then why don’t they go home, find a job in their home country and stay there? However, they’re still here, which tells me that there’s something about their home is not good enough to make them want to go back bad enough to stay. So, they come to China, and everything good about their home, they want to see here, neglecting the bad things about their home that are causing them to stay in China in the first place.  


No country is perfect and yes, we all have had experiences that have annoyed us, that have possibly even pissed us off. However, the way I see it is that the good outweighs the bad. If you don’t think so, then can you tell me how good of a life you could live off of your job back home? Are you able to travel the world with the salary that you make at home? Are you able to not stress about making payment after payment on bills every month? Is the crime in your area less than what it is here? Are the majority of the people as nice and kind as the locals here?


People will have mixed answers for this, but here’s the way I see it. If you’re from one of the first world countries, you have been given everything you need and more. Coming to China and not having everything spoofed to you like in the west is hard, and it can be challenging, but more than anything, it’s such a fun experience. 


Maybe it's because I grew up with knowing that there's nothing more important than respect, family, friends, being happy, and not caring what anyone thinks of you. All of these things help the mind have a stronger love and grasp for wanting to be more positive, in my opinion. I mean coming from the Chicago area where guns and violence are seen everyday, China, to me, is a breath of fresh air. No crime, no guns, no fear of walking the streets at night. But hey, that's just me.


To end this, all I'm really trying to say is don’t be the foreigner that makes us all look bad by complaining about China all the time. If you want to do that, then go home, cry a river, build a bridge, and get over it.



I’m here to have a great time. I don’t know about you, but I plan on always living here.

Tags:General Teaching & Learning Language & Culture Expat Rants & Advice Expat Tales Lifestyle


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Yeah well there are two sides to everything. I've met foreigners that are gung-ho about anything China. If you even look at a Chinese person cross eyed they're gonna go off on you. Even if its a simple observation, such as Chinese people spit alot, these particular foreigners are bothered at the mere mention of anything negative. Personally I don't want to be around either type. I don't wanta hear you complaining about China every time we get together; nor do I want to feel like I'm walking on eggshells every time I'm around you and not be able to vent.

Sep 27, 2014 06:01 Report Abuse



I personally do not like China RIGHT NOW because the job I am in has been giving me a lot of problems and I have been placed in a city that is not right for me. I'm also aware that China could be a dream come true, so I'm going to hunt around for something that's not going to break my back due to breaches of contract and cockroach infested apartments! I am determined to like it here so when I return home I can say 'I loved it'!

Sep 14, 2014 16:51 Report Abuse



I really like your honesty, and I understand, it can be hard, but dont give up and it will be okay. I'm living in a heavily polluted city now, but it's gonna be better once I go down south. I support you :)

Nov 29, 2014 02:47 Report Abuse



Hadley, I'm glad you found yourself in a situation that is better than your situation back home. If you're legitimately happy here doing what you're doing, who am I to rain on your parade? Over time, you will likely become more and more aware of China's shortcomings. You will begin to figure out how racist (especially if you're black), ignorant, petty and dishonest a lot of people are here. A lot of newbies go through a honeymoon phase where they think everything is fun and dandy because they can drink 3 kuai beer on the street and watch skirts all day while being handed a relatively comfortable life for work that is basically unskilled. It could be a lot worse. If that's all you want out of life and you don't mind having peasants constantly talk about you when you're in earshot, put their filthy hands all over you to take a picture with you (happened to me yesterday), smoke and dump their trash in elevators, help their children defecate in public when a restroom is nearby and other uncivilized behaviors then you will enjoy it here. I loved China my first year until the novelty wore off and I realized I am living in a place with these and many more shortcomings.

Sep 10, 2014 14:31 Report Abuse



Thats cool man, but at least in China, I will not have the chance of being physically hurt just for being black. who cares if people are racist, that's everywhere, and coming from america, china is a breeze. I'm still trying to figure out why so many people still get surprised when they experience racism here when coming from the west.

Nov 29, 2014 02:50 Report Abuse



Haven't you written this same article before? To say you hope you can always live in China speaks volumes of your naivety. It's a pretty big world my friend.

Sep 03, 2014 22:37 Report Abuse



Maybe you can take up knitting or even line-dancing in a park, because I actually thought that this was going to be blog article with substance. Of course, we all have the right to express ourselves, but please don't think that you are going to change the minds and views of the masses with your writing.

Aug 26, 2014 12:38 Report Abuse



As much as I like Hadley's positive outlook I must agree that there are reasons to complain on occasion. An employer not fulfilling their part of a contract for example. I tend to agree with the guy from N.Z. when he points out that complaining a little isn't a big deal its the racist rants aimed at the Chinese that makes us all look bad.

Aug 25, 2014 16:36 Report Abuse



There are always ppl who will complain about everything no matter where they go.Like the old saying says "There's no place like home",and for the most that is true no matter how bad home actually is.For us who live and work in China and even are married to Chinese person(like me),complaining about really bad things that happen here is the only way to make us feel a bit better.If I complain about something bad,does that really make me a bad person and does it really cast a bad light on my fellow foreigners????

Aug 23, 2014 18:36 Report Abuse



Also I don't know what you think is "spoofed" to us in the west? At one point you're kinda saying "Come on don't complain life is easy here we don't have to worry about paying bills" and then later it seems like you're saying "Hey! Life in China is what separates the men from the boys, if you can't hack not having an easy life being handed to you on a silver platter then go home to your mama!" So which is it? Both those things can't be true at once. I would agree that you can just kinda show up here and have a certain standard of living just handed to you without any effort. So yeah if someone is a lazy person they shouldn't complain about basic esl life in china because they aren't trying very hard to get something better. But on the other hand it's not really something to be proud of either.

Aug 14, 2014 13:55 Report Abuse



It's hard to find the line between constructive complaining and trashy whining. I'm definitely of the mind that a lot of the stuff you hear expats say about china IS just whiny BS...whining about stuff that good judgement/planning could avoid pretty easily but would involve a little more effort. For example someone who lives in crappy free housing whining about the bad quality. You can do better you just have to maybe work more hours and deal with getting a place on your own. So yeah fuck that, that's your own fault. But the flip side is there's a difference between saying saying "hey buddy quit whining China didn't make you a loser, you did" and saying "You are ignorant to say anything negative about China at all." I mean that's just fucking irrational. There are serious issues here...and pointing to a problem in the US as a way of dismissing problems here makes it easy to never change. It's like if my neighbor is visiting and he tells me my house is on fire and I tell him to fuck off cause I know he burned some popcorn last week so he's a hypocrite and if he doesn't like my burning house he can leave!

Aug 14, 2014 09:47 Report Abuse



I can understand why some people think that hadley is OTT about this, but also I agree with him that "westerners" do appear to be a bunch of moaners when it comes to living in China. I get it that those of us who haven't lived in-country for years "don't know what life is really like" etc - and I'm sure that when I arrive in China next month to live, I will find a plethora of things not to like. But, here's the clincher that many people at least appear to be missing: we westerners who move to China CHOOSE to move to China to live, work and marry. We are not forced to do so (at least, not that I have heard). So, sure, we don't have to be happy about things that we can see that we know are just wrong - no one is suggesting that. But at the same time, moaning about it all - even "amongst ourselves" - can hardly be constructive or useful to anyone, including "us". I realise some will disagree, but there is great power in speaking positively - or at the very least, NOT speaking negatively. Indeed, although I find it difficult myself to practice, I have noted that many situations in life are made exponentially worse by having a negative attitude and "going on about it". No, I'm not suggesting we just blow sunshine up the Chinese all day long. But maybe we would do EVERYONE a favour by choosing to see the good things in China (even if we have to look a little "long and hard" at times) and choose to celebrate those things. And yes, I preach to myself also as a reminder when those crappy days come along where one seems to just get the wrong end of the stick. Of course, I sincerely hope I can practice what I preach, because already I can see things about Chinese life that I disagree with. But I'm determined to come to China to live, work and marry, so it will come down to me to put my so-called western "civility" in top gear and live life the best I can - with MINIMAL grumping, grouching and general moaning. :-\ :-p

Aug 12, 2014 06:17 Report Abuse



Hadley, It's all been said before, you keep making contorted assumptions, generalizations and rationalizations about expats who are negative. Do you hope we will see the light of positivity? Your Smile Or Die attitude helps you mingle with nationalistic Mao-worshiping locals easily, and you should enjoy your time. Some of us hope to support the more critical locals; the ones who can only post their opinions of China anonymously on internet, and there are many if you look at translated ChinaSmack comments from Chinese. They will be the driving force for change in China. ChionaGov already pays more for 'stability maintenance' than it does for its expansive military, and it will be increasingly pressured to adapt to changing opinions, or pay to suppress them with paid services like employing wumaos. It's the VOCAL, COMPLAINING Chinese who pressure the government to force change. As for the silent ones who wouldn't speak out to save their children's lives, well, enjoy drinking tea with them. And stop complaining about people who make YOU look bad...

Aug 09, 2014 15:20 Report Abuse



I don't have a problem with people complaining. I do have a problem with some of the people that frequent this site making racist comments about Chinese people. Making such comments without attaching a real photo of yourself is nothing short of cowardice. I find it ironic that people accuse Hadley of repeating himself when those same people manage to derail any comments section towards how terrible China really is. The article is about African expats starting a burger stand? It will end in how pretentious and insecure Chinese men are. Bitterly complaining about your pathetic circumstances over and over again is far worse than Hadley being somewhat upbeat about his experiences. Not enjoying yourself here? Then bloody well do something about it.

Aug 10, 2014 21:38 Report Abuse



My contract says trying to overthrow the government would get me I better NOT do something about it...

Aug 10, 2014 23:10 Report Abuse



You might have overlooked the myriad assumptions Hadley makes about people who complain in his anti-rant blogs, and the constant suggestion that we ought to go home. He comes from Chicago, is black, and feels overjoyed to have financial stability in China. Good for him. But he tries to convert his gratitude into idol worship of China. What he's basically doing is validating all the injustices, providing negative reinforcement to ignore this dictatorship's problems with his approval, all because he gets his little paycheck. Most expats see his aerie-fairy feel-good buzz for what it is, and he hates that.

Aug 11, 2014 09:27 Report Abuse



do you mean the harmony of cowardice? i believe it's the only "traditional value" that hasnt been banned or sold off for some more economic growth in this commercialized dictatorship. anything to stay alive, huh? bind your daughter's feet, throw her in the river, bully your kids with homework and beat your wife when she becomes too uppity. you're really buying the harmonious facade. can you even distinguish between appearances and substance? you probably think the chinese economy is so strong, depending heavily pn exports and house prices. well, i think we all know harmonious chinese society will only change when it is forced to, so i'll keep supporting vocal opponents, and exposing apologists like hadleyj.

Aug 26, 2014 09:26 Report Abuse



Must have missed the racist part, because didn't see anything racist. Talking about how some people are Mao worshipers is like talking about how some people support one far end of the political spectrum which happens in every country.

Sep 06, 2014 16:52 Report Abuse



The major problem with chinese people is that, they are not trustworthy at all.And civilization among the majority is so low.I cant believe in this moden world they see a black and what comes into their minds is that;this person is black he doesnt take shower.what are a pitty for a person to think so,they never read books from around the world.only books written by chinese which i think are meant to.brain wash them and how will u ever know.u wanna be like USA yet u percieve foreigners to be a threat to your pathetic,why dont you just stop your hypocracy and get pretend to be welcoming to foreigners but deep down your heart you have no a single love for the person,only when they feel the can gain something from you that they allow you into their homes.Apart from this pain in the ass character of theirs i think china could have ruled the world

Aug 07, 2014 17:30 Report Abuse



I agree with this post entirely. I have not met many people here who have genuinely hated and complained as much as this but if I did i'd simply tell them to jump on a damn plane and go home. Although I can relate somehow to this, I am from the UK and as is well known the British love to complain. I am no exception to this, I complain about it being too hot, certain things being over complicated, certain aspects of the food etc. I do complain about some things but not in a way that makes me dislike or hate China. I love China, certain aspects I love a little less but overall I love my time here. The positives far outweigh the small negatives in my mind I can honestly probably list more negatives about the UK than China. So when I do have a bit of a moan that the weather is too hot and i'm covered in sweat just walking 10ft it's not a reflection on my overall perception of China. If people genuinely hate it here or complain with such hatefulness then they should be banned and not allowed back into China. Remember this is their country you are a guest respect that and don't be a dick.

Aug 05, 2014 12:26 Report Abuse



I'm not a guest, I've been here 5 years...that's not a guest...that's like family.

Aug 06, 2014 11:22 Report Abuse



According to Chinese law, you are a guest...and always will be 25 more years...still a guest...makes no difference

Aug 08, 2014 16:33 Report Abuse



government policy is to complain only about outside of China so people won't see how corrupt it is here and that carries on to the people. We don't complain too much, we complain because we can. I avoid talking about bad things in China to Chinese because they get what they deserve. Complaining about gun violence in USA. As an American you really should, you really should do that a lot because your country is the only one in the developed world to have this rampant problem and that is with your police force having military weapons.

Aug 04, 2014 18:25 Report Abuse



guns are cool but just like a car, you need to have a license don't you? Checks and balances, a stable mental health system and a leveled approach to problems that are not divided due to what side you are on and support. Complain and keep complaining and you too can have a happy free loving country that you read about in parts of Europe and Australasia. Why can't USA be more like Canada. Should have never of kicked out the British, instead campaign more for inclusion and do things in a peaceful, non gun needed way...

Aug 04, 2014 22:56 Report Abuse



It is not a difference, its an evolution.

Aug 28, 2014 15:46 Report Abuse